Pinewood Shepperton to bring British film expertise to Asia

2012-07-12 02.12.26British film studio Pinewood Shepperton has agreed a joint venture with Chinese media group Seven Stars.The deal is part of Pinewood Shepperton international expansion strategy. The makers of the James Bond movies, already has studios in Canada, Germany and the Dominican Republic, with facilities in Malaysia due to open in the next couple of months

Both companies will initially invest $1m (£655,000) into the research of various business proposals, including potential co-productions and running film courses.

Pinewood chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said.”The Chinese market for content is the fastest growing in the world,” he went on to say “If successful, the joint venture could provide significant opportunities for UK film and television producers.”

Seven Stars is part of one of China’s leading private media groups and its founder and Chairman Bruno Wu has been a leading figure in the international entertainment industry for over a decade.

“Taking Pinewood’s experience and skills to that market in partnership with such an established and successful local partner is a truly exciting prospect,” said Mr Dunleavy.

The venture partnership with Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars company will be called Song Lin and looks to make co-productions, run film courses, develop financing for Chinese productions and create film-themed entertainment venues.

Pinewood wanted a local partner to help make the expansion into the Chinese market as effective as possible.

Pinewood recently submitted a revised proposal to develop its main site in Buckinghamshire after its previous £200m proposal for a city street sets, sports facilities and housing was rejected by planners.

A sharp rise in box office revenues in China, boosted by an emerging middle class making more trips to the cinema, has encouraged foreign film producers to seek local partners to help them crack the market. Good news for the British film industry.

Just North of the border Northern Ireland Screen are flying producers every second day with new projects. Meanwhile back in Ballykissangel our man, Jimmy’s big announcement is that Love Hate has been commissioned for another series, happy to be shoring up mediocrity and fooling nobody other than himself that every this is hunky-dory.

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